It’s a cool afternoon in Durham, NC. I had the pleasure of meeting with Mr. Wayne Sutton dubbed Social Wayne in a downtown café for an exclusive interview. I’ve followed Social Wayne on Twitter for quite some time but, I didn’t meet him personally until I went to the Blogalicious Social Media Blog Conference last October in Miami, FL and he was the Keynote speaker. So even though we reside in the same state in two different cities I had to meet him out of state at a conference. Go figure! You know how they say first impressions make lasting impressions; well I won’t ever forget the ice breaker Wayne Sutton did before starting his key note speech. He was rapping to music with video playing on a screen about geo location; if you can’t picture it… you had to be there! It was cool, and made me laugh! So we dive right into conversation about social media, location based apps and mobile marketing.
JCD: How would you describe your niche, and why those particular areas?
WS: I would have to say location based apps, mobile marketing and social media. These areas were chosen because first and foremost because I’m passionate about start ups, technology and using technology to help connect people to one another.
JCD: How did Tri Out come about?
WS: I was a beta tester for various location-based applications such as whrrl and brightkite and previewed foursquare locally before it was available for North Carolina and the rest of the world. But before foursquare became available to NC, Lawrence Ingraham and I brainstormed about having a locally based geo location app that can help local people meet up, explore cool places to visit and things to do right here in the Triangle and TriOut was born.
JCD: What interests you about geo location?
WS: The endless marketing opportunities, how it connects people online and offline and the data. Why do people check in? Why do people upload photos? Why not let people know what you’re doing and in real time. It helps you build relationships with your social graph, share your offline experiences and builds relations with the locations you’re visiting. Along with the ability to finding various type of content around location data such as coupons or other time saving information.
JCD: How do you feel about online privacy and location based apps along with social networking?
WS: Location information is linked to almost every type of content you create with your mobile device. With the use of location-based apps users need to be more aware of the risk of checking in but it’s not limited to just the apps. Various social networks and/or services such as flickr, twitter and instagram allows users to post content that may contain location information. Sadly because these service are not saying “check-in” most users don’t think about what they’re posting and how it could be use to share your day, time, and location. Not to say people have forgotten common sense but you can’t turn off your location based app and then start posting status updates about where you are if you’re really concerend about online privacy and don’t want to be found. It’s sad that some people use technology to do more harm than good and we have to worry about stalkers and criminals robbing us because someone has decided to check-in to recive a coupon. We as users have to be smart about the online conversations that we have, how we choose to use various tools and use common sense. Online privacy is an issue that’s not discussed enough.
JCD: What is your greatest social media marketing achievement?
WS: I would have to say being featured in January’s edition of Black Enterprise magazine. I’m humble and truly a southern country boy that loves technology and sharing what I have learned with the world. With the support of the local and online community of friends and various relationships I’ve been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of various opportunites such as the Black Enterprise article. The Black Enterprise article was a personal acheivement just beating out my photo of Steve Jobs at the Oscars in 2010 that went viral.
JCD: How do you balance everything on your plate?
WS: I’m trying to slow down in 2011. I have spoken at over 60 conferences/meetups and traveled constantly in the past two years. This year I will cut down on it all. I have a wife and new born son at home which are my priority and I’m going to be strategic about starting anything new. I’m focusing on a new job as Director of Digital for Tech Media. I don’t have it all figured out and still trying to find the balance. If anyone have a few ideas, I’m open to suggestions.
To connect with Wayne Sutton you can check out his site SocialWayne.com and friend him on other social networks and don’t forget to follow him on Twitter at @WayneSuttonto keep up with all things technical.